Why Belt Testing is an Important Part of Martial Arts

At Total Impact Martial Arts, our classes are designed to encourage self-improvement in our students both inside and outside of the dojo. We want to empower them to be their BEST selves at home, at school, and out in the world.

We understand the importance of goal setting and achievement, especially for kids and teens. That’s where the martial arts belt testing system and ranks come into play! Belt testing gives martial arts students a sense of progression, personal achievement, and establishes high marks for them to strive for.

Let’s explore why belt testing is such an important part of the martial arts experience

What is Belt Testing?

Belt testing is a process in martial arts where students are evaluated on their proficiency in the art and awarded a higher belt rank if they pass. Belt testing typically involves a demonstration of techniques, forms (a pre-arranged sequence of techniques), sparring, and other aspects of the martial art being studied.

At Total Impact, belt testing is held and conducted at the instructor’s discretion instead of being based on time. Attendance, student efforts, skills, and class progress, are factors considered when deciding on testing times.

Each martial arts style has its system of belt colors and requirements for advancement. In most martial arts, white is the color of the beginner belt, and black is the highest rank. However, there are often several intermediary belt colors that students must achieve before reaching the black belt (highest level).

Belt Color Guide

The levels of belts and stripes can vary depending on the martial art and the specific school or organization. However, here is a general overview of how belts and stripes work in most martial arts dojos:

  • White Belt: This is the beginner level, where the student is new to martial arts and has little to no experience.
  • Yellow Belt: This is usually the first rank students earn after several months of training. At this level, students typically learn the basic techniques and principles of martial art.
  • Orange Belt: This rank usually signifies that the student has a solid foundation in the basics and is ready to learn more advanced techniques.
  • Green Belt: At this level, students typically have a good grasp of the fundamental techniques and can begin to incorporate more complex movements.
  • Blue Belt: This is often considered an intermediate level, where students have a deeper understanding of the martial art and can perform more challenging techniques.
  • Purple Belt: This rank usually signifies that the student is approaching the advanced level and has demonstrated proficiency in martial arts.
  • Brown Belt: This is typically the last rank before the black belt and signifies that the student has attained a high level of proficiency in martial arts.
  • Black Belt: This is the highest rank and signifies mastery.. However, many schools also have different degrees of black belt to signify even further levels of mastery.

Stripes are usually a way to signify progress within a given belt rank. For example, a student may earn a stripe on their yellow belt after demonstrating proficiency in a particular technique or after attending a certain number of classes. The number of stripes and the requirements for earning them can vary between programs and martial arts. Stripes are often used to provide more specific feedback to students on their progress and help them set goals for improvement.

Why is Belt Testing Important?

Here are a few reasons why we, at Total Impact, believe that belt testing is very important.

  1. Recognition of Progress: Belt testing provides a way for students to be recognized for the progress they have made in their training. By earning a new belt rank, students can feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their hard work and dedication to the martial arts.
  2. Confidence: The assessment and the belt reinforce the students’ confidence in themselves. It also symbolizes the achievement of their goals and this strengthens their belief in themselves and they’re more confident not only in their techniques but also in their demeanor as well. 
  3. Motivation: The process of belt testing can be motivating for students, as it gives them a clear goal to work towards. The desire to achieve a higher belt rank can help students stay focused and dedicated to their training. Winning a new belt also motivates the students as they have tangible proof of their hard work and achievement. 
  4. Goal-Setting: Belt testing can help students set specific goals for their training. By working towards a new belt rank, students can identify areas they need to improve upon and focus their efforts on specific techniques or skills. It is one of the values martial arts training teaches students and the assessment and belt testing are one way we put it into practice. 
  5. Feedback and Assessment: Belt testing allows instructors to assess students’ progress and provide feedback on areas for improvement. It can help students identify weaknesses and work to improve them.
  6. Discipline and Focus: Preparing for a belt test requires discipline and focus. Students must be diligent in training and work hard to improve their skills to earn a higher belt rank.

Overall, belt testing is an essential part of the martial arts journey, providing recognition, motivation, goal-setting, feedback, and opportunities for personal growth and development. With belt testing, we recognize the students’ hard work and inspire and motivate others to improve their techniques.

It’s also a way to hold students accountable to follow the dojo rules. If a student fails to arrive to class on time, shows poor conduct, or disrespect, our instructors will take that into consideration when deciding if they are ready to test.

Total Impact conducts children’s, teen’s, and adult best testing every month as a way for students of all ages to show off their progress and level up! While we stress the importance of testing and progress, we know that martial arts training is a personal journey that’s different for everyone. Every student achieves unique milestones on their own timeline. Before any student can test, they must first be approved by one of our instructors.

No matter your age or fitness level, Total Impact Martial Arts has something for everyone. Our instructors work hard to create unique and well-rounded programs to cater to students of all ages and abilities. If you’re looking to make a difference in your life and are on the journey of self-improvement, then you’ve come to the right place!

Hear from one of our Total Impact parents about their child’s awesome experience at our dojo:
“My son had tried 3 different martial arts places. He did not feel comfortable in any of them. Then we found Total Impact Martial Arts and he really enjoys it. He’s been there for about 4 years now. The instructors are great and really focus on each student and their performance. I highly recommend this place. In my personal opinion, Total Impact will have a positive “Impact” whether you’re young or old. Our goal is to make it to a black belt!”
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Total Impact Martial Arts offers karate, kickboxing, self-defense, and MMA programs to individuals of all ages throughout Chicagoland including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, Wheeling, and surrounding areas.



Total Impact Martial Arts offers HIGH ENERGY, engaging martial arts programs to help students of all ages reach their unique health, fitness, and martial arts goals!